Q: What is the foreign transaction fee on American Express cards? I will be traveling internationally more and would like to minimize or avoid this fee if at all possible.
A: If you travel internationally, you definitely have to keep an eye on those credit card foreign transaction fees. They can vary greatly depending upon who issues the card.
The standard American Express foreign transaction fee is 2.7% and here’s how it compares to other major issuers in 2013, arranged from least expensive to most expensive:
- Capital One – none
- Discover – none
- American Express – 2.7% fee (except for the $450 Platinum Card which has no fee)
- Chase – 3% fee
- Citi – 3% fee
- Bank of America/FIA Card Services – 3% fee
- Barclaycard/Juniper – 3% fee
- HSBC – 3% fee
- Wells Fargo – 3% fee
- US Bank – 3% fee
As you can see, the American Express fee is slightly lower than average. If you only travel internationally once a year it’s probably not worth hassling with another credit card. However if travel abroad on a frequent basis, then chucking over those 2-3% fees will add up fast. Think about… spending $10,000 per year would mean $270 in currency fees.
The good news is there are several cards that charge no foreign transaction fees whatsoever. Go here to see the current list of cards with no currency fees.